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Scaling a Startup in 2023? Here’s the Best HR Software for Startups

Aug 15, 2023 | Business Software and Tools

Choosing the right HR software for startups is like setting the foundation brick for your company’s growth. As modern HR tools demand scale with growth, you’ll need a robust and efficient system to take the weight off your shoulders. But with various HR software on the market, promising a world of features, how do you choose the one that’s right for your startup? What are the best HR software for startups?

To aid your decision-making process, we’ve curated a list of the best HR software for startups set to shine in 2023. Our review includes an in-depth analysis of their features, pros & cons, and pricing. Dive in, and let’s find the perfect complete HR solution and companion for your burgeoning startup.



Deputy is a complete software solution that caters to staff scheduling, time management, and more. It’s designed to meet all the needs of a business with robust features like comprehensive staff scheduling and control of employee timesheets. This web-based workforce manager is available globally, including in the United States, serving over 250,000 workplaces internationally. Businesses ranging from small teams to large organisations have found it useful, especially in the hospitality, retail, food/beverages, and healthcare sectors.

Key Benefits

  • Simplifies shift scheduling with features like drag and drop, copy shifts, and open shift notifications.
  • A PIN allows employees to clock in or out of shifts or breaks.
  • The mobile-ready software can be accessed through smartphones, tablets, and web-based apps.
  • Includes basic HR features like onboarding, timesheets, and a News Feed.
  • Offers integration with over 52 payroll, POS, and HR systems.
  • Provides reports on employee statistics, locations, schedules versus sales, and time-off schedules.
  • Users can prepare accurate payroll, plan in line with demand, and communicate more clearly with Deputy.
  • Streamlines employee admin, allowing teams to focus on what matters.


Deputy’s pricing proves affordable for a range of businesses, with costs for unlimited users starting at $2.50 per user per month. Enterprise-level plans are available for companies needing more extensive features at $8 per user per month.

Pros & Cons

From our experience with Deputy, its customer support stands out as particularly praiseworthy. The support team is responsive and helpful, and it’s easy to input employees into the system and assign them to shifts. The software’s functionality at all levels of use is appreciated, and features like open shifts and easy shift swapping enhance its usefulness.

However, some challenges have come up in our use of Deputy. We’ve sometimes faced issues with the software’s efficiency, particularly with scheduling and connecting employee data storage and database with other software. Also, while it provides many features, it’s not robust enough to fully replace a comprehensive human resources management tool. We’ve also encountered problems with the export feature for overtime and instances where the clock-out function gets stuck, requiring multiple button presses. Finally, while functional, the user interface could be improved for a more intuitive user experience.

Screenshot of Deptuy's Pricing For HR Software



Gusto is a comprehensive online payroll and HR administration platform tailored specifically for startups and small businesses. The platform is equipped to handle both domestic and international contractor payroll. It provides a suite of services, including payroll processing, benefits administration, time tracking, and financial wellness tools. Gusto integrates seamlessly with popular accounting software and even offers discounts on selected apps. The platform is heavily focused on security, implementing measures to prevent fraud and ensure data protection. However, Gusto payroll software might not be the best fit for companies that hire W-2 employees outside of the U.S. or require robust performance management and employee engagement tools.

Key Benefits

  • Gusto offers financial wellness tools, including Gusto Wallet, a mobile app that enables employees to track their payment history and manage their finances.
  • The platform simplifies payroll and benefits management by guiding users through these processes, ensuring tasks are completed correctly and in sequence.
  • Gusto’s integration with QuickBooks allows for easy syncing of payroll, taxes, and wages data, simplifying the accounting process.
  • Businesses can conveniently enrol in workers’ compensation insurance through Gusto’s platform via integration with NEXT Insurance.
  • Gusto allows for customising workflows and notifications and integrates with other specialised applications.


Gusto offers transparent pricing, starting at $46 per month, with various plans available based on the business’s specific needs. The Simple plan is optimal for startups and small businesses operating in only one state, while the Plus plan caters to businesses operating in multiple states and needing more dedicated support. The Premium plan, offering the highest level of support and automation, is designed for small to mid-sized businesses. In addition, Gusto provides a Contractor plan for small and medium businesses that solely need to manage contractor payments. While the pricing plans are transparent, it should be noted that the per-person pricing can become substantial at larger scales.

Pros & Cons

From a first-person perspective, Gusto is lauded for its simplicity, ease of use, and intuitive dashboard that enhances the overall user experience. Its strong suit is its payroll and benefits management capabilities. However, it has its drawbacks. Payroll and adding new team members require substantial upfront manual data entry, and there are limited options for customisation when it comes to reporting, templates, and the dashboard. There are also some limitations in areas such as tax calculations and deductions for each employee, leave management, and the ability to sign documents directly within the platform.

Screenshot Of Gusto Pricing Options For HR Software



GoHire is an applicant tracking system and hr software specifically designed for startups and small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). With its base in the United States and offices in Stamford, CT, and Barcelona, Spain, GoHire offers job advertising, candidate screening, applicant tracking, and automation to streamline the hiring process. The software is recognised for its user-friendly and affordable solutions, catering to various businesses, including startups, SMBs, and mid-sized businesses from various industries, such as SaaS, tech, marketing, hospitality, education, and more. GoHire integrates with various job boards, social media platforms, and other HR tools to make hiring easier and more efficient.

Key Benefits

  • Streamlines the hiring process with automated features
  • Supports job advertising and candidate screening
  • Offers applicant tracking to manage candidates efficiently
  • Integrates with job boards and social media platforms for a wider reach
  • Provides user-friendly interface and templates for messages and emails
  • Offers world-class support, including 24/7 availability, an online knowledge base, chat support, and phone support.


GoHire offers a variety of pricing plans to suit different business needs. Their plans start from £69 per month and also provide a free 14-day trial for new users to experience the service before committing. The pricing scales according to the level of service required, providing an affordable solution for startups and SMBs.

Pros & Cons

From personal use, I have found GoHire to be a great tool for simplifying the hiring process. Its ease of use and affordability is a significant benefit, particularly for startups and SMBs. Notably, the ability to post jobs easily, manage candidates efficiently, and improve the hiring process is a big plus. Also, their customer service is top-notch, always responsive and ready to help.

However, GoHire has its shortcomings. Users have pointed out a need for more integrations, better reporting, and additional features like SMS communication and live calendar integration. There have also been concerns about the need for more integration with other HR and management software and dissatisfaction with some aspects of the company’s conduct. Despite these, the pros of GoHire outweigh the cons, especially considering the value it offers for its price.

Screenshot Of Software HR Company GoHire Pricing



Workable is a robust, cloud-based applicant tracking system (ATS) geared towards providing businesses with streamlined hiring solutions. Its core functionality lies in assisting businesses in discovering and tracking potential employees during the recruitment process. Workable’s distinguishing feature is its AI-powered tool that enhances the hiring process. The platform is compatible with major third-party platforms like Gmail, Outlook, and Zoom, adding to its practicality. Also, it ensures automated compliance with regulations such as GDPR and EEOC. Particularly recommended for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), Workable proves to be a scalable solution that grows with their needs.

Key Benefits

  • Offers a comprehensive range of job description templates covering various job categories such as accounting, healthcare, marketing, sales, and more.
  • Integrates easily with most major third-party platforms.
  • Provides AI-powered candidate sourcing for effective hiring.
  • Offers SEO-optimised job descriptions and one-click advertising on popular job boards for better reach.
  • Comes with robust hiring tutorials and guides to help businesses refine their hiring practices.
  • Ensures automated compliance with certain regulations.
  • Offers a user-friendly interface and mobile accessibility for on-the-go usage.


Workable’s pricing strategy is based on a monthly fee per job posting and opening, starting at $129 per month. This pricing model makes it suitable for various business sizes, offering a flexible solution that adapts to their needs.

Pros & Cons

From our experience with Workable, we have found it to be an effective tool for recruitment. Its user-friendly interface, diverse feature set, and reasonable pricing stand out, making it an invaluable asset during the hiring process. Its prompt and helpful customer service has been a significant plus.

However, Workable has its faults. An issue we’ve encountered is accidentally emailing the wrong candidates, which can be a significant setback. Some of our team members also needed help with reaching out to customer service. Furthermore, while Workable offers a good range of features, we noticed it lacks certain aspects like scheduled email sending. Its search functionality and onboarding features could also use some enhancement.

Lastly, the pricing structure might only be suitable for some. As it’s based on a monthly fee per job opening, it could be a disadvantage for some businesses. Despite these setbacks, Workable has proven to be an increasingly useful tool in our hiring employee training process, simplifying and organising our recruitment efforts.

Screenshot Of Workable Pricing For HR Software



Freshteam is a cloud-based human resources software developed to simplify hiring, particularly for expanding businesses. As an offering from Freshworks Inc., a SaaS company renowned for its business software solutions, Freshteam is designed to significantly reduce the workload of HR teams by automating repetitive tasks and providing a centralised platform for all HR processes. The software offers key features such as applicant tracking, onboarding, and time-off management. It’s an integral part of the Freshworks product family, trusted by over 150,000 businesses worldwide.

Key Benefits

  • Provides a branded career site: This allows companies to advertise their culture, benefits, and job opportunities.
  • Integrates with major job boards: This feature broadens the pool of potential candidates.
  • Comprehensive hiring and onboarding features: It supports businesses in attracting, hiring, and successfully onboarding new employees.
  • Smart candidate sourcing: Through various channels like job boards, emails, career portals, employee referrals, and social media.
  • Automatic resume parser: This feature aids in efficiently screening potential employees.
  • Free trial: Offers a 21-day free trial period with no credit card requirement.


Freshteam provides a range of affordable pricing plans tailored to meet different business needs and budgets. Pricing begins with a free plan for up to 50 employees, with no setup fee, making it a viable option for small and medium businesses everywhere. For larger organisations, scalable paid plans are available with added benefits. The paid plans offer features like customisable career sites, interview scheduling, full HR solutions, analytics, social recruiting, talent pool management, job requisition management, and more. Freshteam’s pricing plans are often less expensive than competitor offerings while still offering comparable features.

Pros & Cons

From our experience, Freshteam shines in its user-friendly interface, affordability, and excellent customer support. It’s recognised as a top-notch applicant tracking system (ATS) due to its robust features and competitive pricing. The value for money and ease of use have been widely appreciated by users. However, there is room for improvement in areas like integration with third-party applications and government benefits and regulations. Some users have also expressed issues with the mobile version and search functionality. Despite these minor shortcomings, Freshteam still stands as a reliable and effective free HR software solution for businesses of all sizes.

Screenshot Of Freshteam HR Software



BambooHR is a cloud-based human resources software that offers a range of features for managing employee data and performance. Designed as a Human Resources Information System (HRIS), it offers comprehensive HR management features, including applicant tracking, onboarding, payroll processing, and offboarding. What sets this software apart is its ability to integrate with other popular cloud-based HR tools, such as payroll and applicant tracking systems. BambooHR also offers a mobile app, enhancing accessibility for employees looking to access their HR information or request time off from wherever they are.

Key Benefits

Here are some top features that BambooHR brings to the table:

  • Easy tracking of employee information, including contact details, job titles, and performance.
  • Integration with other popular HR tools for a more efficient workflow.
  • Mobile app for easy access to HR information on the go.
  • A comprehensive set of HR features, including applicant tracking, onboarding, payroll processing, and offboarding.
  • The Advantage package offers extra features such as an ATS, training system, and advanced reporting.
  • Add-ons for payroll, time tracking, and performance management.


While BambooHR’s pricing is not publicly stated, it’s known to be based on the number of employees within a company. Previous indications suggest that pricing may start at $4.95 per employee per month, making it pricier compared to some competitors. However, considering its range of features and user-friendly interface, many businesses find the investment worthwhile, despite the higher price point.

Pros & Cons

Speaking from our personal experience with BambooHR, we appreciate its user-friendly interface and intuitive design. Its ability to accommodate customisation for specific needs and workflows is highly beneficial. One of the highlights is the software’s robust reporting capabilities, which allow for the generation of reports on various HR metrics and analytics. This aids us in making data-driven decisions and gaining insights into our workforce. Our interactions with their customer support have been positive, with the responsiveness and helpfulness of their team standing out.

On the flip side, BambooHR does have some areas that could be improved. One such area is the benefits administration (BA) feature. It’s less comprehensive than some rival solutions and does not provide benefits data in its mobile app. The mobile app, although convenient, offers limited functionality beyond requesting time off and viewing vacation hours. Despite these minor shortcomings, BambooHR’s array of features and user-friendly interface make it a top choice for general HR software.

Screenshot Of Bamboo HR Software

Culture Amp


Culture Amp is an innovative employee engagement platform that puts culture at the forefront. Its main functions include the collection of employee pulse surveys and onboarding feedback, as well as detailed analysis of this feedback. Catering to businesses of all sizes and from various industries, it particularly shines for mid-sized companies. It’s conveniently available on several operating systems, although it currently doesn’t offer a mobile app. Also notable is Culture Amp’s unique offering, ‘ Develop’, a personalised solution to promote measurable growth.

Key Benefits

  • Provides a platform for continuous listening, feedback, and development throughout the employee lifecycle
  • Helps companies better comprehend their employees, enabling data-driven decisions to optimally allocate resources
  • Can significantly elevate levels of innovation, customer satisfaction, and profitability, as reported by customers
  • Aids organisations in enhancing their employee experience and constructing an improved work environment
  • Incorporates a scientifically-backed approach to behaviour change and offers advice for actualising diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategies


While precise pricing details for Culture Amp were not provided, potential users are encouraged to reach out to the company directly for a personalised quote.

Pros & Cons

Speaking from our own experience, Culture Amp is appreciated for its intuitive interface and exceptional customer support. The ability to personalise survey questions and templates is a notable feature. Also, the benchmarking function offers valuable insights by using performance reviews providing industry-specific data from other companies.

The platform is exceedingly user-friendly, boasting comprehensive analytics and reporting capabilities. However, a few areas could use improvement. Some users have mentioned a lack of reporting options, and certain tasks might require more time than preferable. Despite these minor drawbacks, Culture Amp offers a solid solution for companies seeking to enhance their workplace culture and employee engagement.

Culture Amp Pricing For HR Software

Benefits of Using HR Software For Your Startup

The digital landscape transformed the way businesses operate, making it crucial for you, as a startup, to leverage technology to streamline your workflows. HR software’s no exception. It offers a suite of tools that simplifies the management of human resources, making it a strategic investment for your startup.

One of the most significant advantages of HR software is the enhancement of efficiency and productivity. By automating tedious administrative tasks and providing self-service tools, HR software lets your business save time and allocate resources to more strategic tasks (trinet.com). For instance, online self-service tools, reporting and analytics, benefits enrollment, document management, and applicant tracking can be managed in real-time, reducing errors and freeing up time for your HR professionals (trinet.com).

This automation allows your HR professionals to focus on more critical tasks and gives your employees the power to manage their benefits, request time off, and more, contributing to an improved employee experience (trinet.com). Moreover, HR software can significantly save resources and money by streamlining processes. It simplifies HR document workflows, ensures regulatory compliance, and enhances data security, preventing potential financial penalties and business interruption due to data breaches or non-compliance.

Additionally, HR software enables reporting and analytics, providing valuable insights that can inform strategic decision-making, thus supporting your business growth (netsuite.com). In the context of startups, where resources are often limited, an HR software’s time-saving, cost-effective, and data-driven approach can be a game-changer.

By choosing the right HR tool and software, you can improve your efficiency and productivity, foster a better work environment, and support overall business growth.

What Does HR Software Do

HR software is a vital tool that assists in managing your company’s most significant asset – its human resources. At its core, HR software is a tech solution designed to simplify the management of HR functions and data. It reduces manual labour and routine tasks, freeing up HR professionals to focus on strategic workforce planning and talent management, which are key to your organisation’s growth and success.

HR software is versatile and can be comprehensive or standalone based on your organisation’s specific needs. Comprehensive HR software covers the entire employee lifecycle, from recruitment to exit. Standalone HR software, however, focuses on specific tasks such as recruitment, talent management, performance management, learning management, employee engagement, and payroll management.

You’ve probably come across common examples of HR software like employee resource information systems (ERIS), applicant tracking systems (ATS), learning management systems (LMS), performance management software, employee engagement software, talent management software, and payroll management software.

One of the main perks of HR software is its ability to streamline HR processes and automate tasks. This results in saved time, increased accuracy, user-friendly interfaces, and the ability to access data from anywhere. This simplification and acceleration of HR tasks make HR software a valuable tool for startups and companies of all sizes.

When you use HR software, you’ll likely see more engaged and happier employees. It improves communication, better manages HR processes, and allows for more informed decision-making. This creates a positive work environment for employees, which is critical for employee retention and productivity.

Customisation is another strength of HR software. It can be tailored to meet the unique needs of each startup or organisation, ensuring alignment with their goals and requirements. This customisation enhances efficiency and helps ensure compliance with regulations, which is vital for avoiding legal issues and penalties.

HR software isn’t just a tool but an investment for your organisation. It helps optimise HR functions and contributes to the overall growth and success of your own employee self-service portal and organisation.

Wrapping Up the Software Safari

Choosing the right HR software solution for your startup is crucial to efficient business operations. We’ve journeyed through the wild of HR software, uncovering the unique strengths and weaknesses each option brings to the table. Knowing there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, weighing these pros and cons against your unique needs is essential.

From Deputy’s robust staff management to Gusto’s specialised payroll features, GoHire’s affordable recruitment solutions, Workable’s scalability, Freshteam’s comprehensive HR management, BambooHR’s impressive customizability, and finally, the modern remote work solutions, there’s something for various business sizes and needs.

Remember, something other than what works for one startup might work for another. So, dust off that HR hat and consider the most urgent needs for your business. Is it streamlining recruiting, managing shifts, or simplifying payroll? As each software excels in different areas, ensure you choose one that aligns with your core needs.

However, whichever you decide, these software solutions stand tall in today’s market for their capabilities and commitment to enhancing business operations. Your startup is in good hands with any of these choices. Good luck with your software-hunting adventure. You will find the perfect fit for your startup’s jungle of needs!

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